A different kind of Beginner-level book 1

If that’s what it’s not, what is it? My post about the Beginner syllabus and short answers with auxiliaries has produced quite a few responses o social media - both positive and negative. On the whole, I'm happy to receive…

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Why don’t we teach more grammatical chunks at low levels?

One of the curiosities of the dominant grammar syllabus at low levels is that certain 'higher-level' grammar does occasionally creep through as words or chunks, while other patterns are apparently still not allowed to. Would you like some more chunks?…

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Complicating the coursebook debate: part 4

In this post, I'm going to look at how I would use the material from Outcomes Intermediate that I mentioned in my previous post. As I would generally tend to do, I am going to look at the material in…

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On the over-use of concept-checking questions: part 1

There aren’t many things that I think should be comprehensively banned from EFL classrooms, but the use of closed CCQs (Concept-Checking Questions) for items of vocabulary is one! For those of you unfamiliar with CCQs, they seem to have come…

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Grammar nonsense 4: relative clauses

This is less a post about the craziness of description and more one about the way grammar is presented and the expectation that grammar should always be practised – and practised in particular ways. Grammar McNuggets and overprotectiveness Scott Thornbury has…

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